Reflections on Panarchy
A wealth of interesting reflections and considerations on panarchy expressed in the clearest possible way.
A pleasure to read and ponder about.
Why I appreciate and choose Panarchy
I appreciate Panarchy not because it is a perfect system. There is no perfect system; however a best system is one that functions and self regulates which I feel panarchy does.
Panarchy also seems to me to be the reality of human choices and interactions.
As far as I can tell, the world we live in does not prefer nor encourage 'mono' situations. In fact single species environments are usually desperate, last effort attempts of nature to live in an otherwise sterile situation. The measure of mankind's ability to flourish can be correlated to the abundance of choices and resources available to humans.
Governance is a concept, and like most human unique ideas, exists only in our intellect. Other human only concepts like religion and insurance also only exist in our mental worlds. Human (only) concepts are accepted to exist as evidenced by the human participation and edifices created in the name(s) of those concepts. Buildings dedicated to religious and specific business practices, populated by people who's efforts are directed towards the focus of that purpose, are felt to demonstrate the viability of the concept represented.
The main difference between governance and most other human concepts is that governance insists upon the practice of monopoly as its basis. It is an accepted conclusion that (human) laws must be designated to be followed within a specific geographic location. Yet this requirement is not usually demanded of other concepts - notably insurance, market choices (shopping) or travel. About the only human concept that tends to be tied to specified locations is currency. And it is a product of that area's government so not surprising that it would be an instrument of government in use.
As I look around me at the evidence of human interaction, I note that the choices made by people are as broad and varied as they can manage. Maximum choice is evident in almost all human activities, be it work, shopping, physical activity, leisure, or beliefs. The incidents of where choices (religion, lifestyle) have been attempted to be restricted within a designated region, have proven to be less favorably received, if not rebelled against, throughout human history. However the concept of government seems to be granted an exception to this rule.
Panarchy, where people are honored in their choice of governance, releases the tying of law & their enforcement services (which is a basis of governance) from a single entity (concept) to an individual. This is viewed as a radical break from tradition, but it is more likely a return to the original purpose and intent of government - as a means for procuring what humans could not do by and for themselves. Such an endeavor is more suited along the lines satisfied by incorporation than committee action. However, the development of such 'services' had been so lost in history that Tradition has replaced sensible, volunteer arrangements.
It has been pointed out to me that anarchy - basically no single government - would not preclude organization among those who wished to do so. However, it seems to me that anarchy carries such a strong connotation of 'none' as to be off putting to the bulk of people. Panarchy removes that negative element and encourages conscious choice. I find that an improvement over the less thoughtful 'non' choice - that of accepting government as an unquestioned, or questionable, 'mono' option.
Examples of Panarchy in current human world
When I have looked for examples of how Panarchy could work in the human world, I have found plenty of evidence that the spirit of Panarchy already exists and is in fact pretty much the basis for human interactions now and in the past too.
The market place is a prime example. Availability of items – be they food stuffs, personal comfort, tools or other useful things – are offered by multiple providers – aka stores or catalogs.
Religion is an intangible that is also not a single 'type' in practice and offered by many and various dogmas to be directed by.
Insurance is a concept that has become more commonplace in the modern human world. There isn't A single company that offers this product and policy for each company varies.
As far as I have been able to understand, none of these concepts are actively done in the manner that monopolistic governance is practiced. I can't imagine an insurance company requiring that all of its policy holders have a vote to decide what the insurance company will cover and how. Nor is it necessary for an insurance company to claim a geographical area as its 'rightful territory' for it to exclusively function within. Rather, it’s a reality that insurance companies, all within a same area, interact with each other on behalf of each of their policy holders.
So too with religion where location plays no part in determining what beliefs those residing in an area do or must believe. Peacefully respectful mutual recognition of beliefs - of honoring one's own beliefs while respecting the choice to have differing views - happens more than not. The difficulties that result from multiple religions within a common area (Middle East) stems from the insistence that each has dominate and exclusive right to that location.
And while police and courts are generally considered the exclusive domain or governments, there exists arbitration options and private security companies that provide the same services, usually in a more direct and efficient manner.
These are a few of what I am sure are many ways that humans with different beliefs and practices peacefully interact and exchange with each other daily. They all represent what I consider to be the spirit of Panarchy.
Why that same spirit and practice hasn't been applied to the concept of governance is a question which seems to have only logical answer – those who benefit from the enFORCEment of government edicts continue to maintain that concept for their own purposes.